Prince Albert, Western Cape

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Prince Albert

Prins Albert
View overlooking Prince Albert in 2009
View overlooking Prince Albert in 2009
Prince Albert is located in Western Cape
Prince Albert
Prince Albert
Prince Albert is located in South Africa
Prince Albert
Prince Albert
Coordinates: 33°13′31″S 22°01′48″E / 33.22528°S 22.03000°E / -33.22528; 22.03000Coordinates: 33°13′31″S 22°01′48″E / 33.22528°S 22.03000°E / -33.22528; 22.03000
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
DistrictCentral Karoo
MunicipalityPrince Albert
Established1842[1]
Area
 • Total37.70 km2 (14.56 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)[2]
 • Total7,054
 • Density190/km2 (480/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African2.2%
 • Coloured85.7%
 • Indian/Asian0.2%
 • White11.3%
 • Other0.6%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans91.7%
 • English4.7%
 • Other3.6%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
6930
PO box
6930
Area code023

Prince Albert (Afrikaans: Prins Albert) is a small town in the Western Cape in South Africa. It is located on the southern edge of the Great Karoo, at the foot of the Swartberg mountains.

History[edit]

Prince Albert was founded in 1762[3] on a farm called Queekvalleij that had been on loan to Zacharias and Dina de Beer since 1762[4]

Originally known as Albertsburg, when it obtained municipal status in 1845 it was renamed Prince Albert in honour of Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg.[4] Prince Albert was historically part of the Cape Colony.

During the latter part of the century, a nugget of gold was discovered on a farm in the area. Due to the fact that a similar occurrence had led to the Gold Rush in the Witwatersrand, this new discovery precipitated a similar population boom. However, the prosperity up North was not to be shared in Prince Albert and the gold mined turned out to be minimal.[4]

Prince Albert became a British garrison during the Second Boer War in 1899. The town was the site of several clashes between the British and the Boers during this period.[4]

Climate[edit]

Prince Albert has a temperate climate with high temperatures in summer, with an average of 33–35 °C, and 17 °C in the winter months. Winter is mainly sunny with colder temperatures and chilly nights, reaching midwinter minimums of 2 °C, with frost in places and some snow on the nearby Swartberg mountains.

Economy[edit]

The town has a GINI coefficient of 0.56[5] making it more economically equal than the South African average of 0.63[6] and a Human Development Index of 0.68[5] which was slightly lower than the South African average of 0.705. Around 20% of the town's working age population is unemployed[5] which is lower than the South African average unemployment rate of 29%. The total size of the town's GDPR in 2015 was R418 million[5] (roughly equivalent to US$34.3 million).[7] The three largest economic sectors by value in the town's economy being government services (21%), agriculture (19%), and retail and tourism (15%). Agriculture provides about one third of all jobs in the town with retail and tourism being the second largest employer by sector accounting for 18% of all jobs provided.[5]

Points of interest[edit]

The Dutch Reformed Church in Prince Albert is a central feature of the town.

Prince Albert has a small local population, mainly engaged in farming and tourism. The village has many authentic Cape Dutch, Karoo and Victorian buildings, thirteen of which are National Monuments. There are several olive farms and other very large export fruit farms in the area, as well as wine producers, sheep farms and an export mohair trade. Birding, hiking, cycling and stargazing are other pursuits for visitors. The area is well known for its endemic veld plants.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Prince Albert". Census 2011.
  3. ^ Fitzpatrick, Mary et al. South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland, Lonely Planet, 2006, ISBN 978-1-74059-970-2, p. 228
  4. ^ a b c d The Great Karoo.com, Prince Albert Tourism Info, available URL:http://www.thegreatkaroo.com/listings/tourism_info/western_cape/great_karoo/prince_albert, accessed: 11 February 2015
  5. ^ a b c d e "Social Economic Profile: Prince Albert" (PDF). Western Cape Government. 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  6. ^ "The World Bank In South Africa: Overview". World Bank. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  7. ^ "Historical currency converter with official exchange rates from 1953". fxtop.com. Retrieved 2019-12-19.